I am not an artist, but I do have a suggestion for the mural on Fourth Avenue.
It would be historically accurate and it would reflect who we are as a community.
The mural should start out on one side showing the mature shade trees that used to line Fourth Avenue. The painting could show people enjoying the cool shade on a hot summer day.
Mid-way through the mural, the scene would change to after we cut down the trees, leaving the ugly, blank wall and hot pavement.
In place of the trees you could paint seven stumps, and by each stump would be one of the council members of the time:

  • Joan McGilton – Mayor
  • Rose Clark – Deputy Mayor
  • Sue Blazak – Council Member
  • Kathy Keene – Council Member
  • Lucy Krakowiak – Council Member
  • Sally Nelson – Council Member
  • Gordon Shaw – Council Member

This would reflect the character of Burien: we cut trees.
Attached are photos showing of how Fourth Avenue looked before the chainsaws, and afterwards.
– Jim Branson

Click images to see larger versions:

4th Ave SW before...

...and 4th Ave SW now.

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8 replies on “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Resident Has Interesting Idea for Burien's New Mural”

  1. Jim –
    Do you have a “now” picture from the same angle?
    Also, did you ever receive a definitive explanation
    from any council member as to why the trees had to go?

    1. I never received an explanation. If anyone from the city would care to explain now, I would welcome a response on the B-Town Blog.
      I assume they cut down the trees on 4th Avenue for the same reasons they cut down the trees on Des Moines Way, Ambaum , and 16th Ave SW near Lake Burien School Park. They were inconvenient, and the general public would not protest if the City cut them down.

  2. I totally forgot those trees existed. Thank you for reminding us of what we used to have. I also would love to know why those gorgeous trees were cut down. I see no reason why that should have happened; unless they got attacked by some killer fungus or mutant beetles.

  3. It appears they had to cut down the trees on the west side due to the widening of the street – might as well do both sides to make it look even, right?. However, it doesn’t take much to plant new trees and start anew. European hornbeams and flowering cherries are nice street trees acceptable to many municipalities. Put a grate around them at the base like they do in Old Town and the ADA issues are solved, too.
    This is what you get when you don’t use local designers and use out-of-towners who don’t care because they don’t have to – they don’t live here.
    With the right community push, the trees can return – but the council would reject any efforts as it would cover up the new mural. Gee, trees or a painting on diversity…..I can see the racial/environmental battle lines being drawn now.

  4. At least since our current City Manager took over, Burien has raged war against its trees. They are messy. They don’t toe the line. They are unique and grow as they please. We can’t have any of that in Burien.

  5. The Lake Burien School Park trees were rotten and were dangerous to the houses across the street, as well as anyone in the park. I was suspicious about that originally, but did see evidence while they were taking down the trees.
    How about a “greening of Burien” campaign? It sounds like Jim is definitely one of Burien’s many tree lovers!

  6. Love the idea of the trees,or anything with some beautiful areas and/or vistas, but please, oh please, no pictures of the city council people. How much nicer to see a beachside view with gorgeous sunset, just like we have at Seahurst park or three tree point…..represent the reasons we love this area.

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